Revisiting rats

A proliferation of rats in McPherson Park in January was a health scandal plaguing the park and influencing public opinion against Occupy DC-K St. The Health Department’s claim that rats were multiplying in abundance in the area around the park was a prime justification for Mayor Gray’s urging the National Park Service to oust Occupy DC from its protest home.

But what if an unusually mild winter was the cause of rat reproduction?

NBC4 reports that relatively warm weather has meant more rats overall in the District:

The warm winter was kind of like a 50-course meal for the rats. More people outside enjoying the weather means more food in the trashcans, and more food means more rat babies….

Several pest control companies agreed this has been one of their busiest years on record.

That doesn’t completely absolve McPherson Park from unsanitary conditions–if more food was available in the park than usual, it would have led to more rats. But it might appear that the rodent problem wasn’t confined to camp conditions. Rodents run rampant in the District, especially when cold weather doesn’t restrain their numbers.

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